|Pats have fresh start on end game||09.14.09 at 11:03 am ET|
FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots passing game could be entering a new dimension.
And 29-year-old tight end Chris Baker could be the key. The eight-year NFL veteran showed in the preseason that he can catch the ball and provide a legitimate threat off the line of scrimmage. And Baker is someone head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots know very well since he spent his first seven years with the New York Jets.
But the Patriots had far more in mind than just taking someone away from their competition in the AFC East when they signed him as a free agent on March 2.
“Chris has been a very versatile guy for us,” Belichick said. “I’ve really been impressed with really all aspects of Chris’s game since he came here. He’s a smart kid. He works hard. He’s tough. He’s got good position versatility; he can play on the line, go in motion.”
“I’m very excited to get the season kicked off and wherever that leads we’re all looking forward to it,” added Baker, who could have just as easily been talking about his own future with his brand new team. Read the rest of this entry »
|Seymour reports to the Raiders||09.12.09 at 11:45 pm ET|
After almost a week of uncertainty, former Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour reported to the Raiders on Saturday, saying he will bring a “commitment to excellence” with him from New England.
“I’m not saying what I’m going to do when I get out on the field, but I’m going to give everything that I have, and that’s 100 percent,” Seymour said in an interview with Raiders.com where he was seen wearing the No. 92.
“From the weight room to the workouts to whatever it is … the classroom, learning plays — and I have a lot to learn at this point. Just understanding what we’re trying to do defensively. Once I get that all down pat, I’ll definitely be ready to go.”
The 29-year-old Seymour was dealt from the Patriots to Oakland last Sunday for a first-round pick in the 2011 draft. He told The Boston Herald yesterday he felt “blindsided” by the move, and reiterated those thoughts Saturday night.
“Obviously, my thoughts at first were with my family,” he said, recalling the first few hours after the deal went down. “’How do we make this all work?’ Coming out to the West Coast. If it was the offseason, I would have been out here the next day and we could have just worked out the details later.
“It was just … the way that it happened, how fast it happened — a week before the season. My kids had already enrolled in school. I had a lot of responsibilities to take care of as a father first. Like I said — my faith, my family and then football. Once the first two worked themselves out, obviously, football comes naturally. Now, I’m ready to go. “
The five-time Pro Bowler, who said he was picked up at the airport by former Oakland great Willie Brown, said that for the last week while he was sitting out, trying to figure out his next move, the Raiders sent some ex-players to his house to try and “recruit him.”
“That definitely felt pretty good,” Seymour added with a smile.
“We are proud now for the Raider fans, the Raider team, for the Raider organization to welcome Richard Seymour — a great player from the New England Patriots,” Oakland owner Al Davis said. “I want to state this, from the very beginning, there was never any doubt that Richard wanted to play for the Raiders. He grew up being a Raider fan. There was never any doubt he wanted to play for the Raiders.”
Davis said he had long coveted Seymour.
“I’ve always had my eye on Seymour because it’s tough to play the right end in a three-man line,” Davis told the Contra-Costa Times. “We’ve had one great player do that — Lyle Alzado. He’s someone that we’ve been watching for years and I never thought we’d get a shot at him.”
Davis added that he dealt with Patriots coach Bill Belichick exclusively when it came to talking about the Seymour trade.
“With Bill and I, it was long, it was over four or five days,” Davis said when asked about the talks surrounding the trade. “But it wasn’t so much the choices. It was the extenuating conditions, about reporting and passing the physical and all of that stuff.”
|No-huddle nomads||09.12.09 at 10:39 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH – If, early on Monday night, the Patriots look like their running around on defense, that may not necessarily be cause for concern.
That’s because they are playing a Buffalo Bills team that is planning on using a no-huddle offense. And not just any old no-huddle but a hurry-up model similar to the type commonly seen in the two-minute warning.
One would assume speed and stamina are important to containing Trent Edwards, T.O. and Josh Reed in the hurry-up. And while that’s important, Patriots coach Bill Belichick will tell you there’s something even more critical.
“I think the biggest challenge is communication,” Belichick said. “They are used to running plays quickly, getting to the line, calling them and signaling them and not coming back to the huddle, doing it from extended formations, getting lined up and going. And defensively we’re kind of used to doing it in an end of the half type of situation. But on an every-down basis it stresses your communication a little bit and recognition – making sure that you see the offense, see where they are located because they will move them around. Read the rest of this entry »
|Patriots Saturday Practice Report||09.12.09 at 4:21 pm ET|
Patriots Practice Participation and Injury Report for Saturday:
Did Not Practice
WR Matthew Slater (elbow)
OL Dan Connolly (back)
WR Julian Edelman (ankle)
DL Myron Pryor (calf)
WR Wes Welker (knee)
CB Terrence Wheatley (knee)
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)
DB Bret Lockett (chest)
RB Sammy Morris (finger)
CB Shawn Springs (knee)
TE Benjamin Watson (hamstring)
|Bill Belichick Q&A, 9/12||09.12.09 at 2:56 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the transcript of the Q&A between Bill Belichick and the media today at Gillette Stadium:
Read the rest of this entry »
|Seymour says he was “blindsided” by deal||09.12.09 at 11:53 am ET|
It looks like the Richard Seymour saga is coming to an end.
In his first public comments since being traded to the Raiders last weekend, former Patriots lineman Richard Seymour told The Boston Herald he will board a flight to Oakland Saturday afternoon in anticipation of playing for the Raiders against the Chargers Monday night. In addition, Seymour’s agent Eugene Parker has confirmed to several outlets that Seymour will indeed report today.
Seymour was traded by the Patriots to Oakland on Sunday for a first-round pick in 2011, but he and Parker have maintained radio silence since the deal went down.
Seymour said it was a difficult few days — he said he’s been gathering his thoughts in anticipation of heading to Oakland.
“First of all, I was blindsided by this whole event,” said Seymour, the five-time Pro Bowler. “When you get blindsided, you should take a moment to gather your thoughts. I have a lot of personal issues more pressing than football.”
Seymour has four children and is the guardian of a 15-year-old cousin, who had recently joined him in the Boston area. Seymour’s family will return to South Carolina, while he flies to Oakland on Saturday to join his new team.
Seymour said he has been in regular contact with Raiders owner Al Davis and coach Tom Cable. Seymour — who said he will wear No. 92 with Oakland — said he has talked with the Raiders about a possible contract extension or a promise not to be designated the franchise player following the season, but was given no guarantees.
The 29-year-old is in the final year of a contract that pays him about $3.685 million this year.
“There are a lot of different emotions,” Seymour added. “Football was not my main concern at that point. I have had discussions with the Raiders… I’m excited and happy with the way they’re looking at me.”
Multiple reports indicate that Seymour is pursuing a grievance challenging the Raiders’ ability to force his hand via a “five-day letter.” WEEI.com confirmed that Oakland sent the leter to Seymour earlier in the week, a move likely designed to spark the Seymour camp into some action. The letter gives the player five days to report to his new team or risk being suspended for the entire season.
|Report: Seymour preparing to head to Oakland, will play Monday||09.12.09 at 12:52 am ET|
According to reports, the Raiders are putting the finishing touches on Richard Seymour’s arrival in Oakland this weekend, and the former Patriots defensive lineman will be in a Raiders’ uniform for Oakland’s Monday night game against San Diego.
The story was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Seymour was traded to the Raiders last Sunday for a first-round pick in the 2011 draft, but the five-time Pro Bowler has yet to report to his new team. Since the deal, both Seymour and his agent Eugene Parker have both refused to comment on the situation.
In addition, ESPN is also reporting that Oakland did not give Seymour a new contract, nor a promise not to slap its franchise tag on him after this season. Seymour is in the final year of his contract, and is scheduled to make almost $4 million this season.
WEEI.com confirmed Friday that the Raiders had sent Seymour a “five-day letter,” which gave the former New England defensive lineman five days to report to Oakland to take his physical or risk being suspended for the season. If Seymour fails to report for his physical within five days of receiving the letter, the Raiders have the option of placing him on the Reserve/Failed-to-Report List, which would mean Oakland would retain his rights in 2010 at his 2009 salary — $3.685 million — and he would miss the entire 2009 season. As a result, Seymour would not be a free agent following the season.
If Seymour continued to stay away, the Raiders would be within their rights to go after a portion of Seymour’s signing bonus from the deal he signed with the Patriots in 2006, a contract that included a bonus of roughly $30 million.
On Friday, Oakland coach Tom Cable said he had no knowledge of Seymour being sent such a letter.
“It’s just been business as usual in terms of getting this team ready to play,” Cable told reporters. “That’s the right approach. We all are hoping that he’s going to show up. But the bottom line is that, until we have something one way or the other, we have to stay the course with San Diego.”
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